HC Erlangen has achieved something that no other newly promoted team in the past ten years has managed to do in its first season in Germany’s top flight. The top club from Franconia finished ninth in the DKB German Handball League despite losing 27:33 (12:16) to SC Magdeburg and so is the highest-placed newcomer of the past decade. Today’s encounter against SC Magdeburg had its first emotional highlight before the throw-off, when the HC said farewell to the six players leaving the club in the summer. Isaias Guardiola, Stanko Sabljic, Kevin Herbst, Mario Huhnstock, Pavel Horak and Ole Rahmel were feted with standing ovations by the again more than 4,000 spectators in the Nürnberger Versicherung Arena. The tussle against the former Champions League winners was evenly poised to begin with and the home side went 7:6 in front after 15 minutes. The visitors from Saxony-Anhalt then upped the pace to build a four-goal lead, which they held until half-time.
After the break, HC Erlangen attempted to offer its fantastic crowd yet another comeback. Spurred on by a strong Jonas Thümmler, the team of Head Coach Robert Andersson tried to avert the impending defeat. However, the SCM, which still had a theoretical chance of qualifying for the Champions League, did not relinquish its lead. Magdeburg finally ran out deserved winners in Nuremberg. Because FRISCH AUF! Göppingen drew at TVB Stuttgart, the HC finished the season in ninth.
Robert Andersson commented: “Generally speaking, I’m never happy about losing. But looking back at this season, I can only find few things to criticize. We can now go on vacation with a very good feeling and then start back on the attack in mid-July.”